Duke (RadioUniverse/Universal Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Combining dance tracks with a few pop songs, and combining portions of each in between, Mark Adams (a.k.a. Duke) is releasing his self-titled debut disc for the first time in the U.S. Writing all the songs, playing all the instruments, and even producing the material, Duke is all about creative freedom and the ability to write about what you want.
The music has a dance feel one moment, and then the next moment Duke busts out with some fancy guitar work like you'd find in 70's arena rock. Then he jumps back into some more dance beats, only this time adding a pop sensation too it. Heck, he even splashes a bit of funk into the mix. It draws on many influences, but always keeps a dance-oriented feeling. It's like a romantic pop album mixed in with a club dance disc.
Listening to this album, I could never get into the music. I recognized his talent, and I recognize the music's ingenuity, but as far as listening goes, it put me to sleep. Never one for any dance music, or slow pop ballads, Duke blended two musical genres that I'm not very interested in.
I'll give this album a C. It definitely deserves its own category in record stores, but after listening to it once I was through with it.
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